Taddy Porter — Stay Golden

Grammy winner Mark Neill (the man behind The Black Keys’ Brothers) co-produced Stay Golden with Dave Cobb (Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings), and that firepower shows. Stay Golden isn’t fool’s gold. It’s the real deal.

It begins with “Changes,” a brilliant, self-knowing nod to the group’s new direction that moves with a cocky walk. “The Gun” is similarly confident in its dusty, Western charm. It’s the type of timeless sound that could find its way onto a remake of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Lead single “Fever” is Taddy Porter’s equivalent to the Keys’ “Tighten Up,” an infectiously catchy and decidedly vintage rock anthem where front man Andy Brewer can let loose and howl like Dan Auerbach.

With its swampy guitar swagger and punchy chorus, the saucy “More, More” doesn’t lose any of that momentum, and neither does the rest of the album, touching on cleaned-up garage soul (“Emma Lee,” “Evil”), countrified Led Zeppelin riffs (“Chemicals”) and beefed-up ’60s pop (“Walk Away,” “You Can Count on Me”).

It’s hard to find an honest-to-God rock record anymore, and Taddy Porter has made one of the best ones in recent memory. —Joshua Boydston